“Try thinking of the self as the seed, and the face we present to the world as the husk – the visible, external part of us that shields the seed from the view of others and protects it from predators. The husk/persona being self-protective, is naturally tougher, more defensive, more competitive, less tolerant, more prejudiced, less forgiving than our inner seed/self. The husk is the perfect hiding place for the seed, but it would be a tragic mistake to become so focused on the husk that we forget to nurture the seed within it.”
One of the fears my coaching clients overcome when they begin working with me is the fear of uncovering the “real them”. Before we start working together coaching clients often share some version of this fear with me. They say something along the lines of: “The truth is that I have no idea who I really am anymore. And I am absolutely terrified that when I figure out who I really am that I won’t even like myself.”
This fear is of course understandable.
We live in a world that is constantly trying to convince us that who we really are is somehow inconvenient or inadequate – or both. In order to protect ourselves we assemble masks and armour. Over time, these layers of external ‘husk’ thicken and harden. So, it is not at all surprising or strange that so many of us have become estranged from our essential nature – because we have spent most of our lives hiding it, shielding it, denying it and suppressing it.
We disguise, diminish and contort ourselves to fit in – when deep down what we really yearn for is to feel seen and to unfurl.
Alicia Keys captured this phenomenon beautifully in her book “More Myself” when she said: “We shift ourselves not in sweeping pivots, but in movements so tiny that they are hardly perceptible, even in our view. Years pass before we finally discover that, after handing over our power piece by piece, we no longer even look like ourselves.“
The threshold to a self-fidelity practice is realising (and then remembering) that you are the seed and not the husk.
And with this awareness, we can reconnect to our true nature. And from this place of connection it is becomes abundantly clear that there is nothing to be afraid of.
The practice of self-fidelity guides us to gently peel back the layers of husk that have grown over our lifetimes to reveal the truth of who we are.
The wonderful work of Richard Schwartz offers us a list of eight qualities of our ‘seed’ or as I describe it, our ‘essential nature’. At our essence we are all: compassionate, calm, confident, creative, connected, clear, courageous and curious. I would add one more – at our essence we are also all playful beings.
As we become more and more familiar with who we really are, and cultivate trust in our goodness and our potential we become more and more comfortable embodying these powerful qualities that are inherent in all of us. We create congruence between who we are at our deepest layers and how we lead, live and love. We activate our authenticity.
Research shows that leaders who are committed to this inner/outer alignment engender psychological safety, compassion, courage, creativity, engagement and well-being – all of which supports sustainable performance.
Revealing, befriending and committing to the embodiment of the ‘real you’ results in feeling uplifted and alive. Over time, the practice of self-fidelity has the power transform your relationships with yourself, with those you lead – and with those you love.
Self-fidelity Practice to Play With This Week
The self-fidelity practice I invite you to play with this week is to ask yourself this series of ten powerful activating questions, get quiet and allow some space for answers to emerge:
How might allowing my COMPASSION to more fully reveal itself serve me and those I care about?
How might allowing my CALMNESS to more fully reveal itself serve me and those I care about?
How might allowing my CONFIDENCE to more fully reveal itself serve me and those I care about?
How might allowing my CREATIVITY to more fully reveal itself serve me and those I care about?
How might allowing my CONNECTEDNESS to more fully reveal itself serve me and those I care about?
How might allowing my CLARITY to more fully reveal itself serve me and those I care about?
How might allowing my COURAGE to more fully reveal itself serve me and those I care about?
How might allowing my CURIOSITY to more fully reveal itself serve me and those I care about?
How might allowing my PLAYFULLNESS to more fully reveal itself serve me and those I care about?
How might reconnecting to the truth of who I am serve the greatest good?
Last weekend I was quite literally “living the dream” running my first ever in-person Self-Fidelity workshop in Melbourne. The overwhelming feedback from participants was “we want more”.
Here is some of the feedback I have received:
“This experience was fantastic. It resulted in a real shift within me. I now feel a new sense of resolve and empowerment to create a working life that really works for me. Thank you!”
“Lately I’ve felt overwhelmed both at work and at home. I wasn’t calm – I noticed it and so did my husband. Now I feel I can change it.”
“I have realised today that the pace at which I am living is not sustainable, and it isn’t making me happy. I am now inspired to edit my life – unapologetically! Your workshop was brilliant – thank you!”
If you live in Melbourne, and identify as a “working woman” I would love to welcome you to my next mini-retreat on Sunday May 16th.
Grab your ticket here. Limited places available.
I work with individuals, teams and entire organisations. I would love to support you to deeply trust in yourself creating congruence between who you really are and how you lead activating your true potential and inspiring others to do the same.
I offer leadership programs, masterclasses, mini-retreats, keynotes and coaching.
If you are interested in learning more about the value I creating with my clients, please reach out to me on email@example.com. I look forward to connecting.